February 10, 2021
This post is partly for me – I’m hankering for something in a different color than my usual!
I’ve got to be really careful not to buy something without a LOT of thought; my wardrobe has been 95+% black and white for decades, so busting out with a blue scarf and tee shirt would be a MAJOR change…
But I see that my favorite tee shirt is available in quite a few colors; what might I do?
More pink is always a possibility; I know that I love pink, and it goes well with all my black and white:
I love the way these 5 things look together, but I’m not sure that coral is a direction I should go…
Yellow? I think not, but it’s so pretty and cheery…
Oddly enough, Beach Glass is starting to really speak to me. I don’t see it with black, but in hot weather, with ivory or white, it might be lovely… hmmm…..
I wore Forest Green as a child, and loved it… but I can’t seem to get used to the idea of wearing it now. However, this scarf could persuade me!
This is where I started – Light Ocean… I’m not quite convinced, but I’m definitely tempted!
Pretty much the entire world looks good in turquoise – how far wrong could I go?
If I were wearing grey, I would own ALL of these Muted Lavender things… now!
I’m also fond of this Violet Chalk color – especially the scarf!
After all of this, I’m still not at all sure!
My plan, I believe, is going to be to look through all of my scarves and find an “orphan” that I really love, and try to figure out if a fresh color might breathe some life into the scarf as a part of my wardrobe…
Is it the cold? The short days and long nights? Does anybody else long for something bright and fresh in their wardrobe?
p.s. Six years ago, I was keeping a visual diary of what I wore every day! These days, it would all look like gym clothes or long underwear….
I actually have two winter capsules. Or rather, a few pieces to switch out and change my color palette. I also have a large core wardrobe of black (but pivot away from that in the summer) so the winter stuff I wear in December and January is very dark. For February and March I switch out a few darker pieces for a cream cardigan (which was one of the best impulse purchases I ever made), a pink cardigan, and a few long-sleeve shirts that coordinate. As much as I sometimes fantasize about a Steve Jobs type wardrobe based on jeans/black pants and a black turtleneck/tee, I just can’t handle all the dark colors in the late winter and early spring. (I live in Wisconsin near Lake Michigan so we have 40 degree temps into May!)
The coral is just amazing!!! I have not a stitch of it in my closet. Expecting snow here this weekend. My main goal right now is just staying warm at work ;) Have a great weekend everyone!
Actually, all Jessie Zhao scarves are just amazing. I wish I did better at tying silk scarves. They seem to be too “slippery” for me…..
I have the Beach Glass tee and have worn it for years. I’ve worn it so much that I’ve had to replace it after three years. I wear it with all my neutrals: black, navy, grey, tan, white, denim. It looks great with everything, but my favorite is with light grey. Janice, I was surprised to see that you don’t see it with black, but different tastes, right? I also have the Azalea tee. I love the strong color and it looks good with most neutrals, but my favorite is with black. I also like the Butter, Light Ocean and Rich Turquoise. Maybe later!
I think that if you love black and white as you and I clearly do, any other colours must be crisp. Crimson, any blue but nothing greyed, jade etc. I am never drawn to any colour that is muted as it just doesn’t suit me. I think this is why you like pink but not coral. Bright and/or icy colours are the way to go.
I strongly agree that you should use one of your existing scarves and try to add in an extra colour based on those. That is what I was going to suggest.
Beach Glass is beautiful!
Beth T says
On a brilliantly sunny day like today, it would be great to go for a walk but the UK is under a biting East wind, so I shall stay in warm and cheer myself up with these colours that are a portent of Spring.
I wear most of these colours in the spring/summer except yellow and the very bright Azalea pink. The forest green would be dark teal for me.
Beach glass or aqua green looks lovely with pink – give it a whirl. I have a lovely scarf of pink roses on an aqua green background. You are not sure whether beach glass would look right with black. Perhaps you might consider adding another neutral for trousers – grey or a dark blue (not necessarily navy)?
The accessories are all lovely, particularly the socks and scarves. The muted lavender and green (beach glass) scarf and the blue Monet scarf with the pink water lily are gorgeous. Now blue looks lovely with pink.
Like Beth from Wisconsin, I’m dispensing with the dark hues of winter and wearing lighter and brighter coloured tops, shirts and cardigans/jumpers whilst still wearing warm trousers.
Layering keeps me warm – four layers today! I kept back my plain short sleeve tees from summer to wear as a coordinated under layer in winter.
The timing of this post is spot on! I just switched out my darker winter colors—burgundy and black or dark navy—for ivory and rose pink and indigo, the colors I’m always craving in February. The coral is lovely, that mauve color is amazing, and I just pulled out a sweatshirt that dusty lavender color, which is indeed the perfect late-winter pairing with grey. The light here in west Texas is grey and luminous at this time of year. It makes me want to dress that way, too!
Hi Janice…I’m wondering if you would use that wonderfully analytic mind of yours and help me decide whether I should buy a particular garment, or not? The garment in question is this one, from Talbots…
I have tried to dress nicely every day during this pandemic…I work part time from home but am near retirement age. In the last two months, my husband and I have had and recovered from Covid (thank God!).
During our illness and recovery, I wore the above black jogger pants from Talbots all the time, and found that I love them! Nice fabric, wash nicely, pockets, high waist, comfortable waistband and tapered leg (but no elastic at the ankle).
Now that I’m recovered, I’m wearing them frequently and washing them and enjoying them immensely!
I am very tempted to buy another pair, also in black, but I don’t want to be wasteful or greedy.
How would you determine the best course of action?
I love your work and have followed for years!
I’m also tempted by these pants. That’s what we wear in these days of winter + retirement + covid. Some of the reviews are very negative though. I think I will only buy them by actually going into the store to try them on.
If you’re hesitant, going to the store is wise. But remember, some people wouldn’t be happy if their ice cream was cold… so the reviews can be skewed!
hugs hugs hugs,
1. If you find that you do laundry more often than you otherwise might, just to get these pants back in the rotation, or
2. If you find that you wear these pants when you really should have put them in the laundry, definitely get a 2nd pair!
Also, if you have a lot of different ways to wear these (which I imagine you do…), go ahead and get the 2nd pair and get more and better use out of your shirts and sweaters!
But if I might impose? Could you buy them through this link?
It gets me a week commission! Given the state of shopping these days, every little helps with my income….
The choice of duplicate garments to own is difficult; I own duplicate blue jeans and black tee shirts, because I always keep a teeny bag packed with absolute essentials. (yes, I’m paranoid…) I’ve found that it gives me a disproportionate peace of mind to know that in emergencies, I’m prepared!
hugs hugs hugs,
I’m the queen of buying duplicates, especially something that you’ve already found to be comfortable! I say (for all the reasons above) GO FOR IT!
I’m thinking about trying something different for warm weather this year. Neutral bottoms and toppers in white and navy, and a pair of khaki ankle pants that can be dressed up or down. And then I’d like to experiment with tops in nine different colors – one in each neutral (white, navy) and seven colors that make me happy and I feel good wearing. Aiming for a total of 24 items, several tops can be prints that combine at least two, and hopefully some combining three, of those nine colors. I also want to include some accent color toppers that work nicely with the print tops. That should get me through more than a week without having to do laundry (even if I get off schedule). Building little bundles like you have shown by pulling from what I already own and only purchasing a few new, relatively inexpensive items like t-shirts, face masks and costume jewelry should keep this experiment affordable. The skin-tone flats and sandals and white canvas slip-ons already in my closet will work with everything. And I already own pink Keds and a couple of sandals or flats in other colors as well as jewelry and tops, so I feel like I have a really good start on those accent color bundles. Now I just have to choose the exact items to keep in my closet. Good thing warm weather won’t be here for awhile!
Sally in St Paul says
Lena, I love this idea! For those of us who crave color, especially in the summer months, this seems like a very good way to get that variety of hues in a mix-and-match capsule with a small total number of items.
I know that a variety of colors is essential for me to feel like my outfits are different from each other, rather than wearing the same thing over and over. I know that a person can build very different outfits every day of the week from (for example) black, white, and pink by changing silhouettes, textures, etc., and it can look really terrific. But when I dress that way myself, I just feel like, ho hum I’m wearing the same thing again, boring. So I definitely need enough overall color in my wardrobe to not look washed out (an outfit of all or mostly neutrals isn’t as great on me) and enough different colors (not variants of the same hue but distinctly different colors) to satisfy my desire for variety.
I’m especially curious about how you will end up selecting your accent colors and what items, in addition to the t-shirts, will be accent colors vs. neutrals (if that makes sense). Because a lot of capsule wardrobes start with a tight color palette (for all kinds of very good reasons), I struggle with it. I would like to hear an update once you have your wardrobe straightened out, if you are inclined to share.
Have you considered a blue ( sapphire , royal or cobalt) to go with black and white? Something a little deeper than ocean blue. I love that combination, crisp but not too loud and good for all seasons.
Sally in St Paul says
Yes, I agree with a deeper, jewel-tone blue to wear with black and white…it’s a stunning combination!
Speaking of rich blues, have you all seen the news that scientists found a NEW COLOR? Not in the Pantone naming some color with a new name, but an actual new color of pigment called YInMn blue.
Science and/or art geeks might find this link about the new blue interesting (I did!):
I love royal blue. Back in the ’80s, I had a Liz Claiborne linen blazer, walking shorts and cropped pants in royal, with a royal and black sweater, and a royal and WHITE sweater… OOH HOW I LOVED THAT LITTLE CLUSTER….
The shoulder pads were a thing of wonder!
hugs hugs hugs,
I miss the Liz Claiborne pants from the late 80s-90s. I think that was the last time pants fit me well and were flattering (of course, my figure was better then). I wonder if Tim Gunn was responsible at that time? I’ll have to look that up.
I love the Beach Glass color. I’m sort of hoping you find an orphan in that color and can make it work with black.
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Everyone! I love ALL of these accent colors. The only thing I would do is change them into turtlenecks. It is currently 23°F with a wind chill of 13°F on the partly sunny shores of Lake Ontario.
Oh, thank you for your thoughts on those Talbot’s jogger pants, Janice! You make so much sense!!! I just used my mobile device to buy 2 pairs (one in black, one in navy) from your shopstyle link! I’m so happy to have you benefit, because I’ve benefitted all these years from your wonderful work!
(I’m sorry if I shouldn’t have linked them…)
(And for some reason, I wasn’t able to click on the “reply” button so that this would be on the right thread).
And Lizette, I think most of the negative reviews have to do with how short the pants are. I usually buy a petite, but they were waaay too short…a couple of inches above the ankle. It’s too cold for that right now…so I bought a misses size and then the length was perfect. (Apparently, the jogger style is supposed to be on the shorter side, but…no. just no. Not in the middle of February!)
To add to your shopping I think the light blue pair would also be lovely and a useful transitional pair as the weather warms up and you can move into lighter colours. Pants can be hard, when I find ones I’m happy with I always buy multiples. It gets me through the years when there is nothing available that I like.
Amanda Hudson says
Royal blue black and shoulder pads!!! I had a sweater that I adored and a striped tee. I find a little softer color suits me better now. I think I might have a look at the Kendra Scott earrings. They really caught my eye. Had to laugh at your comment Janet about wearing the pants when they should have been in the laundry.
Sally in St Paul says
So many lovely options here!
Favorite scarf – coral Jesse Zhao. I have yet to see a Jesse Zhao scarf that isn’t wonderful, but the trees and leopards, bright colors, a bold graphical print – swoon! It wouldn’t look good on me but it’s gorgeous.
Favorite socks – seafoam giraffes win hands (hooves?) down.
Favorite earrings – green beaded hoops (might have to DIY a similar pair).
Favorite mask – 3 color “violet chalk.” It’s subtle, luxe, and begs to be worn with a smoky eye on a fancy outing…like to the CVS drive-thru.
Favorite t-shirt – the violet chalk attracts me because it’s lovely and reminiscent of the saturated lavender color that I loved wearing as a child…but also because it seems unusual and like nothing I own…uh oh.
Favorite color with black – forest green. By happy coincidence today I am wearing forest green with black and grey…and a touch of white in the rabbit print on the black scarf. But bright pink is a strong second choice especially with black and white.
Favorite grouping theme – the bright pink I am calling “Floral Charybdis” because the whirlpool tie-dye print mask and the whimsical sea monster scarf are amazing together.
Favorite grouping I would wear tomorrow (well, in late April because it’s 5 F right now) – turquoise. That scarf has such a delightful Dr Seuss feel to it…it must be the trees.
On the throwback post, I love the “outfit options” section you included. I’m going to have to borrow that!
Janice! I had a royal blue linen skirt and blazer from Liz Claiborne, too, with a striped top and matching skirt (royal blue, green, purple) that I ADORED! Also, another matching blazer, shorts & pants with a sweater plus printed pants and matching shirt. Wasn’t Liz Claiborne fun? We were able to shop a “collection” that could be worn together, the original capsule idea really or like Garanimals kids clothes for adults!
RIP Liz Claiborne! I miss the quality, the collections, the fit. Then the name was sold to JC Penny’s.
Joanne Long says
Violet chalk with my grey neutrals and my amethyst Fierce Lynx bracelet. I’ve even got bamboo pyjamas in this colour. I may have had the same Liz Claiborne outfit in the 80’s when I had dark hair. Those shoulder pads were great for girls with “small upper bodies”.
I have to agree that with a wardrobe of predominantly black and white, I would stick with brighter colors more pure in hue than the pastel or muted shades. And cobalt was an excellent suggestion! When I was living as a Bright Winter (wrongly analyzed), I found cobalt to unexpectedly be the color that seemed to work with everything else I had (black, white, navy, bright pink, kelly green, turquoise).
Is this the Royal Blue Liz Claiborne jacket? It’s very nice. It still looks good today! Now available on Etsy!
Beach glass, shell coral and light ocean – anyone else enjoying the seashore vibes that even the names give? I would pick any of them plus the turquoise (poolside) in a heartbeat. Butter yellow sunshine. Drinking something pink. Dark green palm fronds. Watching a coral to lavender sunset. All go with grey, navy, white, pale taupe and even with black if done carefully. In my head I am packing for a cruise just looking at all this joy and sunshine!
Elizabeth Ellen Carter says
I’m an utter bower bird when it comes to colour, I just love it. I think any one of these would go well with a neutral wardrobe of black, white, navy and grey. And the scarves are so cute!
Janice, I wore solely black for the last 10 jears (it started all with getting ready for menopause). It was just so easy, too. No need to combine… Sadly, I don’t wear scarfs. I try again and again, but it’s just too warm in my neck, they get in my way, no matter how I tie them, and I gave up. So, last year, I made a big effort to get some color in my wardrobe (from the waist up, mostly). I really just put different colors to my face to try what looked nice to my face. It’s no use. After all this time, I just feel terrible, colorful is not quite the verb I was looking for. I feel too colorful, like painted, I feel not myself. Good for you in finding pink as your second color. Very bold of you!! ?
I love bright yellow and, as I look “like dead” in yellow, I buy myself yellow flowers for my office. This is advantageous because I look at the flowers more often than I look at myself.
No solution for the problem addressed, but not wrong either, as spring is still weeks away. ???
Beth T says
If you don’t like scarves, try adding pops of colour with jewellery like coloured necklaces or earrings. You might then get a feel for the colours you are drawn to, their tone, depth and clarity.
A book that I have found very useful is
Colour Me Confident by Veronique Henderson and Pat Henshaw (Hamlyn, 2006).
Kettlewell Colours have some fun quizzes that might help you as well.
If you are deciding on colours it’s best to do it in natural daylight with a white sheet covering your shoulders, if possible.
Our skin tone also changes as we get older. I used to wear red a lot but it has now morphed into plum, softer berry shades, soft burgundy and soft raspberry. I might even dispense with burgundy as I have so few items.
Hi Beth T.
What fun to talk to you directly. I like scarves, actually. But they don`t like me. As with necklaces, it`s almost similar as with scarves… just uncomfortable, somehow.
And with earrings: these used to be the jewelry I wore most. And they did not get in my way. Now, with facemasks, and after – more than once – earring and facemask getting entangled, I am about to give up that idea, too. ?
I am waiting for the haidressers to start business again (Germany: March 1st, I think), so that I look neat again and hope to get some sun in my face in spring, for my skin tone to get some more color.
Actually I started to switch my basic color from black to dark – not navy – blue. That is how bold I am… Still, I always enjoy Janices propositions!!(Suggestions? Proposals? Whatever, I like them. …. such fun and joy).
All those lovely masks! I find that pretty masks – that pretty much coordinate with whatever else I am wearing – are sometimes the only thing keeping me sane these days.
Ladies, I just love everyone sharing about their wardrobes. I LOVE the Coral set and the Turquoise set. The Yellow set is beautiful as well. I’m a Spring and these all happen to be my colors. The pink is nice but I really believe with your black and white wardrobe you should add a brighter pink, cobalt blue and a bright clear purple.
These are all so good – I especially love the beach glass color! Muted lavender as well – I love shades of grey, and both those look like they’d fit really well with grey.
Side note for Janice that it looks like your contact page doesn’t work? Trying to send an email just gets me “There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.”
oh my…. I’ll look into that!
But you can always reach me at [email protected]